The Convention

bieszczady2Photo: Zbigniew Niewiadomski, UNEP/GRID - Warsaw Centre

The Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian Convention) is the second worldwide (besides the Alpine Convention) multilateral international agreement concerning the protection and sustainable development of a single mountain region.

Similarly to the Alpine Convention, the Carpathian Convention is a “framework” convention, and does not contain detailed and specific substantive obligations, but expresses the political will of the Parties to cooperate, establishes the framework for cooperation, determines the thematic scope for cooperation as well as common objectives and principles.

See also:
Towards the implementation of the Framework Convention: thematic protocols, strategic action plans (SAPs), and national action plans (NAPs)

The Carpathian Convention was adopted and signed on 22 May 2003 in Kyiv, Ukraine, and entered into force on 4th January 2006.

See also:
The genesis of the Convention

The objective of the Carpathian Convention is the cooperation of its Parties, and pursuing a comprehensive policy for the protection and sustainable development of the Carpathian region, in order to improve the quality of life, strengthen local economies and communities, and maintain the natural, landscape and cultural heritage values of the Carpathians.

The Parties to the Carpathian Convention are the seven countries of the region: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, and Ukraine. The European Union (which is a Party to the Alpine Convention) has not yet become a Party to the Carpathian Convention.

See also:
The importance of the Carpathian Convention for the European integration
The Carpathian Convention in Poland
The geographic scope of application of the Carpathian Convention in Poland


The Carpathian Convention

  • concerns equally important and closely related issues of conservation and sustainable development;
  • constitutes the legal basis for cooperation of the Carpathian countries towards the protection of the natural and landscape values of the Carpathians, and the cultural heritage of the region;
  • requires Parties to better coordinate their sectoral policies (e.g. concerning spatial planning, agriculture, forestry, transport and tourism) that affect the protection of natural resources and opportunities for sustainable regional and local development;
  • enables the development and implementation of common strategies for sustainable development in local and regional scale;
  • provides a platform for cooperation and a forum for dialogue for the inhabitants of the Carpathians, local self-governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and government agencies.

See also:
Public participation in the implementation of the Carpathian Convention
Sustainable development of tourism in the Carpathians

The thematic scope of the Carpathian Convention

  • Integrated approach to the land resources management (Article 3);
  • Conservation and sustainable use of biological and landscape diversity (Article 4);
  • Spatial planning (Article 5);
  • Sustainable and integrated water/river basin management (Article 6);
  • Sustainable agriculture and forestry (Article 7);
  • Sustainable transport and infrastructure (Article 8);
  • Sustainable tourism (Article 9);
  • Industry and energy (Article 10);
  • Cultural heritage and traditional knowledge* (Article 11);
  • Environmental assessment/information system, monitoring and early warning (Article 12);
  • Awareness raising, education and public participation (Article 13).

* According to Art. 2 of the UNESCO Convention on the protection of intangible cultural heritage (Paris, 2003) traditional knowledge is part of the intangible cultural heritage. The wording of Art. 11 of the Carpathian Convention stems from the fact of its adoption on 22 May 2003, preceding the adoption of the above UNESCO Convention on 17 October 2003.

See also:
Sustainable development of tourism in the Carpathians
Protection and use of the cultural heritage of the Carpathians for the sustainable development of the region
Spatial planning for the implementation of the Carpathian Convention

More information at the website of the Carpathian Convention